Councils may leave ‘lethal’ potholes on roads until it meets minimum depth to save money

Mr Pothole: Road campaigner discusses issues in 2019

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The specialists warn some councils will even “prefer to wait” to repair roads until other defects are spotted first. This means repairs will become more “cost-effective” but could have worrying implications for some road users.

The AA warned some potholes left by councils could be “lethal” for cyclists and could still damage cars.

AA President Edmund King’s comments come after the Government has issued a new multi-million-pound pledge to tackle potholes problems.

Mr King has backed the new changes but warned improvements will mostly reply on “council priorities”.

He said: “Extra funding and better use of technology to help tackle potholes, particularly on non-main roads that tend to wait longer for repair, is welcome.

“However, improved pothole repairs will depend on council priorities and schedules.

“Councils often prefer to wait until a road has reached a point where a large number of defects makes it cost-effective to repair it.

“One of the fundamental issues is the depth that a pothole needs to get to before anything is done about it.

“An ‘intervention’ depth of 40 millimetres may be barely acceptable for cars but lethal for cyclists.”

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A study by the RCA Foundation found 95 percent of councils set a minimum depth for pothole repairs.

A massive 56 percent of councils said they would only consider looking at potholes if they were more than 40mm deep.

Meanwhile, the report found 14 percent of councils will refuse to improve the roads unless the potholes are five centimetres deep.

The RAC study found three-quarters of councils had also implemented a risk-based system for repairs.

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